Kyle Lowry reportedly signed a one-year extension worth $31 million with the Toronto Raptors, whom he has played for since 2012. That extension will keep Lowry from becoming a free agent in the summer of 2020, and will also (when combined with his existing contract) give him $64 million of pre-tax income over the next two years.
Lowry was reportedly unenthused with the prospect of becoming a free agent at the age of 34, which is what would've happened had his agent and the Raptors not come together to hammer out this new extension.
According to SportsNet's Michael Grange, Lowry was prepared to hold out if the team wouldn't sign him past this upcoming season. Grange further reports that Lowry was ready to take control of his immediate future by forcing a deal to a team he wanted to play for rather than allowing the Raptors to dictate the timing of a potential exit.
If the Raptors weren’t going to give him an extension, sources close to Lowry say, he was prepared to hold out and try and force a deal to a destination of his choosing rather than allow the club to control the timing.
Lowry's extension comes months after Finals MVP and three-time All-Star Kawhi Leonard vacated Toronto after leading the team to a title during his one and only season in Canada. Since confirmed rumors persisted all season that he was going to leave after the year wrapped up.
A repeat probably isn't in the cards without Leonard, but keeping Lowry shows how the front office plans to approach the immediate future. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Lowry would love to finish his career in Toronto, though it's also worth pointing out that adding a second year to his current deal could make him a more attractive trade piece for other teams if the Raptors stinks to start out the year.